Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oh Boy What a Night!

Ever have one of those times where you go to sleep and when you wake up, you think it's much later than it is?  I had one of those moments tonight - I fell asleep on the couch shortly after dinner.  I woke up and felt pretty rested, looked at my phone and saw 8:41 (I didn't notice it was PM, not AM), saw it was still daylight outside, and immediately jumped up, freaking out that it was Friday morning!  In my panicking mind, I was thinking "I can't believe Brian let me sleep on the couch all night!" and "I can't believe Clydie didn't wake me up when she came to get coffee", and even thought by some chance that perhaps it was Saturday morning.  I ran back to start getting ready for work in a panic, and stopped by Clydie's room, exclaiming that it was Friday morning and OMG I was going to be really late to work and she said "wake up Deanna, it's Thursday night!"  I was so confused for several minutes, then I had a really good laugh.

So now it's almost 11pm, and I realize that it's been really quiet and peaceful in the house, meaning the dogs weren't inside.  I let them in, and Kita was really wound up.  Everyone wanted to go outside in the front yard, and I told them they could wait until bedtime (in the not too distant future), and sat back on the couch.  Of course Dominion was standing in the living room, looking at me like WTF, and then I hear an excited bark - that would be Kita.  She's our only barker.  The boys can bark, but only do it in very specific circumstances.  I knew someone had pushed Clydie's door open, so I walk back to check and Gabriel is laying on the bed with her, no Kita.  I walk to my room, it's dark (and I could have sworn that I'd turned the lamp on earlier), and as I walk in to turn on the light, Kita scares the hell out of me because her ass is sitting on the bed and she lunges at me and takes off running to jump wildly on Clydie's bed, doing that wild, hyper, run in circles shit ON TOP OF CLYDIE'S BED with Clydie and Gabriel both laying up there and getting trampled.  It was kinda funny, but Kita's so heavy and rough I was afraid for Clydie and didn't want her to get hurt.  I take them all back out the back, and Kita runs all over my bare feet with her big, fat feet.  How I managed to not get totally mauled, I don't know.  Lucky, I guess.

Had an interesting event on my phone this week - I was entering a physician's name into my contact information, his first name being Bryan.  My phone offered "Cranston" as the last name!  I thought that was kinda funny, suggesting that I enter Bryan Cranston as a contact.  LOL

We've already started harvesting cucumbers, squash, and zucchini from our garden, and they are yummy!  We've picked so many this week I've had to take some to work and Brian gave some to the neighbor, because we didn't want them to go bad before we could either freeze, can, or eat them.  I imagine in another week or 2, we'll be able to harvest enough cucumbers to make a batch of pickles, and I just don't know of a method to freeze or can the squash or zucchini.  I like those grilled, or in a squash casserole, and I don't think they are conducive to freezing or canning and maintaining their texture for those.  We've shredded zucchini and frozen it, and it worked out ok for zucchini bread and fried squash patties, so I'll just have to do a little more research to see if there's another way to do things.

Tomorrow's Friday, and I'm so glad!  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Garden, and Other Fun Stuff

I am constantly amazed at how fast our garden is growing, and how bushy everything looks.  This photo was made 5/31/16 from the landing on the back steps:

Believe it or not, there's even more green out there now, only 6 days later!

We picked our first veggies Saturday - 4 squash and 1 jumbo jalapeno:

Clydie found a squash casserole recipe, and those squash got cooked yesterday.  Click here for the recipe.  We didn't use "soft" breadcrumbs, we used the kind you buy in the store that are almost like crushed crackers.  I also didn't use fresh parsley, I just put in about a tablespoon of dried parsley when I mixed everything together.  For future fixing of this recipe, I personally would add more cheese to the squash mixture, a little less breadcrumbs in the topping, and more cheese in the topping.  But it was still yummy!

The jumbo jalapeno was a little disappointing - it was not hot at all.  Well, to me and Brian it wasn't.  Clydie said the bite she got had a little heat to it, but honestly, the bites I took were as mild as a bell pepper.  Nice flavor to it, too.

Here's a small zucchini, next to my index finger:

And here are some cucumbers on the vine:

We picked the fat one, as I figured it would be too seedy.  I offered it to Gabriel to sniff, and he tried to take it from me!  Then I offered it to Dominion, and he tried to lick it.  (see last year, the cucumbers grew on the fence that separated the garden from the yard, and both dogs got caught picking and eating small cucumbers!)  As I was walking through the yard to go check out the bell peppers and tomatoes, Gabriel followed me, and jumped up on me to try to get the cucumber (I had to hold it way up over my head to keep him from snatching it out of my hand!).

I washed the cucumber, and started slicing it up to eat,
and of course I shared it with the pups.  I almost lost fingers when Gabriel took his first slice!  (he's normally very gentle but he really, REALLY wanted this cucumber).  Dominion loved getting some slices, and Kita acted all excited but I found chewed up pieces of cucumber on the living room rug, and she mashed up her second slice.  And I was right - it was pretty seedy when I got to the thicker part of it.  But what I ate of it (with vinegar and salt of course) was delish!  And what a fresh, strong cucumber smell!  After seeing what was out in the garden, I predict we'll have at least a half dozen cucumbers ready to pick by Thursday this week!

I really enjoy the garden, knowing that we're growing food to put on our table and in our freezer.  I'm glad we increased the size this year, to grow more than we did last year.  We have double the # of cucumber plants, and our squash and zucchini are in great shape (we ended up with 2 zucchini plants last year that produced a small amount, and our yellow squash plants just never panned out).  Oh and the peppers and peas and beans and tomatoes!  So much more than last year - we are gonna be canning fools in another month or so!

I'm sorry if I bore you all with my garden photos and stories, but it's something I take great pleasure in these days!  I hope you all have a great week!